Alaska Earthquakes – Over 2,500, Up From Average 1,500
By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley
Alaska earthquakes are not for the faint of heart, yet Last Frontier residents get very used to these rattling occurrences as an average of 1,000 happen across the state each month. In fact, Alaska is home to a whopping 11% of the world’s total recorded earthquakes, as well as the second largest earthquake ever recorded—the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake, magnitude 9.2. Not to mention, three of the eight largest earthquakes in the world were in Alaska, and seven of the ten largest earthquakes in the United States of America were also in the mighty Last Frontier.
While Alaska earthquakes are not uncommon, these first couple weeks of May have proven to be exponentially active. According to UAF’s Alaska Earthquake Information Center, Alaska had three earthquakes larger than magnitude 6, seven larger than magnitude 5, and more than fifty earthquakes larger than magnitude 4—all within the first 10 days of May 2017.
After a relatively long dry spell of not having many earthquakes that could be felt, these recent shakers have spanned across several different regions of the state. If you live in or around Southeast, Southcentral, Interior, or the Aleutian Islands—chances are high that you’ve felt (or heard about) these earthquakes.
The action started on May 1st when a magnitude 6.2 Alaska earthquake originating near Haines was felt throughout Southeast Alaska, and into the Yukon.
On May 6th, a magnitude 5.2 earthquake jolted the earth roughly 10 miles north of Ninilchik on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula.
On May 7th, Alaska’s Golden Heart City of Fairbanks felt a magnitude 3.8 earthquake, which occurred 20 miles northeast of the Fort Knox Gold Mine.
May 8th started a sequence of earthquakes on Adak Island, ranging from a magnitude 5.5 up to a 6.2 shaker.
As of May 10th, it is reported that more than 800 aftershocks from these earthquakes have happened. For more detailed Alaska earthquakes information, read the complete story from UAF’s Alaska Earthquake Information Center.
Looking for more where that came from? Read about the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake, the second largest ever recorded in world history. You’ll also enjoy this story on Portage – the sunken Alaska ghost town that nature is reclaiming. Or read about Whittier – Alaska’s gateway to Prince William Sound, was named the weirdest town in America.